Lecture: Up and Down the Social Ladder in Elizabethan England
Past event archive
28 November 2013, 19:00-20:00
Ondaatje Wing Theatre
- Late Shift||Lecture
Queen Elizabeth I
by Unknown Netherlandish artist
The reign of Elizabeth I saw wonderful opportunities for social advancement - for those on the right side of the economic equation. Landowners benefited from rising agricultural prices; merchants prospered by seeking out the luxury commodities to feed the new elite consumerism; and lawyers grew rich on the disputes generated in a commercialising economy. But there were victims too: peasants struggling to pay increased rents and even to feed their own families in years of poor harvests; wage labourers whose living standards plummeted as prices rose. In this lecture Dr Archer will explore both the winners and the losers, introducing a cast of characters ranging from fabulously wealthy aristocrats like the fourth duke of Norfolk and Bess of Hardwick to the poor migrants swept up by the Bridewell authorities on the streets of the capital.
Dr Ian W Archer was born in Altrincham, Cheshire, and educated at Altrincham Grammar School and Trinity College, Oxford. For over twenty years he has been Fellow and Tutor in History at Keble College, Oxford, and has written a variety of books and articles on early modern social history. He was for ten years the editor of a major on-line project, the Bibliography of British and Irish History, and he is currently Literary Director of the Royal Historical Society.
As part of Elizabeth I & Her Peopleexhibition